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24 September 2014
Science & Nature: TV & Radio Follow-upScience & Nature
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Broadcasting Standards Commission - Synopsis of adjudication
Horizon: Atlantis Reborn (November 4th 1999)

The BSC considered 8 points of complaint from Mr Hancock and 2 from Mr Bauval. Only 1 of Mr Hancock's 8 points was upheld, together with a point of Mr Bauval's which concerned the same issue.

The Adjudication

The Commission concluded that "the programme makers acted in good faith in their examination of the theories of Mr Hancock and Mr Bauval".

Mr Hancock complained that he had been treated unjustly or unfairly in that:

  • The programme gave an unfair account of his case for a significant correlation between the Great Sphinx and the constellation Leo.
    Adjudication: The Commission finds no unfairness to Mr Hancock in these matters.

  • The programme gave an unfair account of his case for a significant correlation between the Angkor temples in Cambodia and the constellation Draco.
    Adjudication: The Commission finds no unfairness to Mr Hancock on this point.

  • The programme unfairly omitted arguments in support of his belief that the Great Sphinx was much older than generally accepted, and wrongly implied that he had originated this theory.
    Adjudication: The Commission finds no unfairness to Mr Hancock on this point.

  • The programme unfairly excluded the views of a supporter of Mr Hancock's belief that Yonaguni, an underwater formation off Japan, was man-made.
    Adjudication: The Commission finds no unfairness to Mr Hancock in this regard.

  • The programme wrongly credited him with originating the theory that Atlantis was Antarctica.
    Adjudication: The Commission finds no unfairness to Mr Hancock in this regard.

  • The programme did not fairly represent his views on carbon-dating.
    Adjudication: The Commission finds that the programme’s treatment of this aspect did not result in any significant unfairness to Mr Hancock.

  • The programme had created the impression that he was an intellectual fraudster who had put forward half baked theories and ideas in bad faith, and that he was incompetent to defend his own arguments.
    Adjudication: [The Commission] finds no unfairness to Mr Hancock in these matters.
Mr Hancock and Mr Bauval both complained that they had been treated unjustly or unfairly in that:

  • The programme unfairly omitted one of their arguments in rebuttal of a speaker who criticised the theory of a significant correlation between the Giza pyramids and the belt stars of the constellation Orion (the "correlation theory").
    Adjudication: [The Commission] finds that this was unfair to Mr Hancock and to Mr Bauval.
Mr Bauval complained that he had been treated unjustly or unfairly in that:
  • The programme had not allowed him an opportunity to respond to a further point of criticism of the correlation theory.
    Adjudication: The Commission finds no unfairness to Mr Bauval on this point.

  • The programme had created a "strong implication" that his theory was a "con".
    Adjudication: [The Commission] finds no unfairness to Mr Bauval in these matters.

'Atlantis Reborn' programme page